Name: Klay Williams
Hometown: New York City
Circle Start Date: November 7, 2017
What attracted you to Ben Franklin Circles?
I was invited to do a segment on BoldTV and talk about Resolution—how it has defined my work as an author and holistic lifestyle coach and what it looks like in the lives’ of my clients. The segment was right after the devastating hurricane in Texas, so it was very timely. I thoroughly enjoyed talking about resolution and was informed that there was a great way to create community and have more of these kinds of conversation: Ben Franklin Circles. Once I read the tenets of the program, I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to bring a diverse group to gather, learn, share and engage. Living in such a polarizing world, the idea of hearing and sharing perspective mattered to me.
How did you recruit members for your Circle? Any lessons learned?
I thought an organic approach would be best. I used my network and allowed conversation throughout the weeks to support my recruitment efforts. If I heard someone speak about an experience that I found compelling, or if I happened to engage a random conversation that I felt others would benefit from hearing, I then offered an invitation. I could not have planned it better. Through this process, I learned that sometimes it’s best to allow life to unfold without the need to control the outcome. Being a natural planner, it was a great experiment to live in uncertainty.
How has hosting a Ben Franklin Circle impacted you?
I would say that hosting a Ben Franklin Circle has impacted me in understanding leadership in general, and also my own leadership style. As a life coach, facilitator and speaker, I’m usually leading and guiding a conversation. This process has supported me in understanding when it’s best to lead silently, how to live in a gray space and hear both sides of an argument, and how to engage participants where they are.
Which virtue means the most to you personally and why?
Justice. Our group’s second Circle topic was Justice. I remember writing in the Facebook Host group that our conversation was intense, challenging and honest. A lot of us left our group with a resounding theme: “I never thought about it that way. I had no idea that was your experience.” That meant a lot to me, as a person and as a Host. I also felt a strong sense of responsibility, one that still tugs at my core, to be more proactive, have a stronger voice and set an example.
What is the last commitment you made to yourself? How’s it going?
Great question. The last commitment I made to myself is to courageously ask for what I need and want. It’s going really well as I learn how to set new boundaries with myself and others. I’m committed to understanding my intentions and the energy that I bring to my relationships and interactions with others.